Is it weekend yet? If you're looking to lose yourself in a film, TV series, album or book, we are right there with you. Actually, we just might be ahead of you, because we already know all the stuff we'll be watching, listening to and reading come quitting time. It's all listed right here, too, for your perusal.
If at first you don't find anything in this list that grabs you and shakes you, don't give up on us! We have plenty more media recommendations where these came from. Hit the link below for a look at 'em all.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Recommended by Daniel Rubino, executive editor
One of my favorite movies for the holiday season — spanning from Halloween to Christmas — is Tim Burton's epic The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). But it's great any time of the year. I'm not even into musicals per se, but The Nightmare Before Christmas just has some of the best songs and hilarious themes around.
The story is simple: Jack Skellington, aka the Pumpkin King, gets bored with Halloween and eyes taking over Christmas. His discovery of Christmas Town leads to one of the most iconic songs that I hum to this day. Besides Santa, there is also Oogie Boogie, Sally, a spirit dog named Zero, and more delightful characters like the literal two-faced politician the Mayor.
The story is macabre, but also sweet with outstanding stop-animation. It's hard to not smile at this gem.
Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series
Recommended by Jez Corden, gaming editor
Though you really should probably watch season 1 and 2 first, last year's Twin Peaks "A Limited Event Series" Season 3 represents television at its most weird.
Twin Peaks revolves around the murder of Laura Palmer, but as FBI Agent Dale Cooper delved further into the mysterious circumstances in the sleepy town of Twin Peaks, things got stranger, and stranger, and stranger. Twin Peaks S3 continues that tradition, pulling no punches whatsoever with its mind-warping imagery and symbolism. With Halloween coming around, now is as good a time as any to get into the show.
Wanderer — Cat Power
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Cat Power's latest album was just released this week, and though I haven't spent a lot of time with it, three tracks have been available for weeks as a teaser. And they're all great, especially 'Woman,' which is a beautiful and powerful song that comes at a time in American history where its message of strength and unity is particularly poignant.
I have a long, solo car ride planned for this weekend, and Ms. Power and her lovely vocals will be accompanying me. I'm a big fan of her earlier work, and I'm confident the new album won't disappoint. If you're looking for a good listen, based on the three early tracks, you'll find it in Wanderer.
Ballard — OGRE Sound
Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
OGRE Sound truly stands out from the rest of artists whom produce synthwave music. What makes Ballard special is how it's been shown to be possible to turn a still cinematic image into deft compositions. Sitting back with your best headphones on really brings each track to life, immersing yourself in a different world.
Leave No Trace — Mindy Mejia
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Leave No Trace is the story of a former mental patient who now works in a mental hospital, who helps a current mental patient escape so that he can find and save his sick father, who's been purposely staying out in the middle of the woods for a decade, to avoid his past. Sounds fun, right?
It is! And it's well written. The author keeps you hooked throughout by weaving an intricate mystery that ultimately pulls all the major characters into a sticky web of suspense. And it's an easy and quick read, with a great twist and satisfying, if kind of disturbing, ending. If you're looking for a good book to curl up to and lose yourself in for a few hours, you can stop looking and read this.
Against the Day — Thomas Pynchon
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Big books are for winter, and since there are a few inches of snow on the ground already where I live, I've gone head first into Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon. Most of Pynchon's work is quite lengthy and dense (save for Crying of Lot 49, which is dense and short), but there's just something to it that makes Pynchon one of the most celebrated American writers.
Plotlines are generally meandering and weird, and Against the Day is no different. The timeline seems to be jumping around so far, starting with the 1893 Chicago World Fair where balloonists were hired to help spy on Anarchists threatening the meat-packing industry. Hollow Earth has made an appearance, as has Nikola Tesla. Yeah … weird.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.